Irreconcilable Differences: Best Buy CEO Sells 450,000 Shares to Pay for Divorce

Divorce affecting small businesses

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Best Buy has had a rough go in the business world for the last few years. However, with a new CEO at the helm since September of 2012, the company has been performing better and seems steady.

Recently news broke that CEO, Hubert Joly, was selling about 450,000 of his shares in the company, despite Best Buy’s stellar performance since he grabbed the reigns.

So why the sale?

It turns out it’s for completely personal reasons – not something that CEOs of big companies are known for.

Best Buy CEO Paying for Divorce

Chris Isidore reported on CNN Money that “Joly disclosed in a filing that he sold 451,153 shares … for a total of $16.7 million.” The motivation is clear: Joly has to pay for a pricey divorce settlement.

This isn’t the first time that a Best Buy CEO has had public issues.  Less than 18 months ago that the previous Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn, had resigned “upon mutual agreement.”  His resignation was colored by allegations that he’d had an affair with a subordinate (he was married).  Dunn’s situation is unrelated to Joly’s stock sale.

Wall Street is definitely watching.  This report was in most of the major financial news outlets.   However, most analysts are still bullish on the company, despite the sale.

Most people, like Dhanya Skariachan of Reuters, reporting in the Christian Science Monitor, recognize that Best Buy is currently on a comeback – with stock tripling over last year’s. In reality, Joly has done an excellent job at turning Best Buy around from a 9-year low on Wall Street.

Shutterstock: divorce image

Correction:  This story was corrected as to Wall Street’s reaction and other details.


Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

8 Reactions
  1. This is an awkward situation to be made so public.

  2. Although my knee-jerk reaction is to judge and say that “He should not have done that”, I am pretty sure that there are some information that I may have been missing. After all, all we can see is the surface. For all we know, this may have been a necessary step (at least that’s what Best Buy’s CEO thinks)

  3. Honestly, all I can really say is, divorce is one costly procedure!

  4. Has he never heard the phrase “cheaper to keep her?” (just joking.) Of course, this kind of money isn’t much for people in his position.

  5. Are we hearing the whole story I wonder. The fact that a CEO would be so careless as to sell that large of a quantity of shares is beyond me. I realize that they are his to do with what he chooses, but a large amount without that story has many investors raising an eye to it and thinking the worst.

  6. Wow! That is quite a price tag on a divorce.